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The Expectation Economy and What It Means for Customer Service


Customers have unlimited access to a wide variety of products and services, making it harder now than ever for brands to get and keep their attention. In today’s expectation economy, ecommerce companies have to look to their customer service teams to provide the personalized experiences that will lead to loyalty.

Let’s define the expectation economy, how it affects demand, and what your brand can do now to keep up with the rapid pace of change.

What Is the Expectation Economy?

The expectation economy is the result of customers demanding more from brands, including better products, transparent information, and quality customer experiences.

How Do Expectations Affect Demand?

Customer expectations are directly correlated to the demand for brand experiences. If shoppers believe their needs are being met, they will want a product or service more often.

This means in order for brands to generate demand for their products or services, they have to put more effort into understanding and meeting the modern expectations of their customers.

The Expectation Economy and Customer Service

Customers today want to engage with brands that do the following:

1. Provide a clear understanding of long-term product value.
2. Understand them on an individual level, not as part of a crowd.
3. Surprise and delight them in ways they might not have expected.

Luckily, ecommerce retailers have the power to tackle these expectations right now, using better agent training and technology to provide high-quality experiences.

Increased transparency

Give your customers as much information about your products and services to get them the outcomes they need. In a service context, this means training employees to be product experts so they can answer any and all questions on the fly and upgrading your support center to use a centralized knowledge base, where agents and self-service-seeking customers can get all the info they need at once.

More personalized experiences

The modern customer wants to feel like service is specific to them and their needs. In our 2022 Customer Expectations Report, 73% of customers said they wanted to be “treated like a person, not a case number.”

To achieve that level of personalization, try a few things in your support center, like switching from a ticketed system to a conversation-based one and archiving and referencing customer details whenever they contact your brand.

Proactivity and anticipating needs

Through customer service, your brand can learn from customer behaviors in order to better anticipate their needs so you’re not just reacting to what the expectation economy demands. Start by gathering and interpreting customer insights based on behavioral and service data collected in your support center.

Brand Example: KURU Footwear

KURU Footwear made concerted efforts to create a more anticipatory support center when they brought in Gladly. This included bolstering self-service and Q&A pages and expanding into popular channels to give shoppers access to more information up front. Most significantly, they were also able to better connect with customers and guide them on their purchases by using Gladly to route customers to the same agents they previously spoke with. This allowed agents to be more prepared to understand and meet customer needs. KURU President Sean McGinnis estimates that their support center became 30% more efficient by using Gladly to improve how they dealt with customers.

Gladly and the Expectation Economy

With our innovative, radically personalized support platform, ecommerce brands can keep up with the pace of change inherent to the expectation economy. Gladly provides the transparency, personalization, and proactivity that will prove to shoppers that yours is a brand to shop from again and again.